Survey: Consumers buying more specialty foods
New York — Consumers are choosing specialty foods over conventional foods at record levels, according to research from the Specialty Food Association.
Nearly 75% of U.S. consumers report making specialty food purchases this year, a major increase since the economic downturn of 2009 when only 46% reported that they bought these high-quality products. Consumers surveyed say they spend about one quarter of their at-home food dollars on specialty options like artisanal chocolates, cheeses and oils.
"The results confirm that consumers are responding to the wealth of innovative foods and beverages being produced today by food artisans and entrepreneurs across the U.S.," says Ron Tanner, the Specialty Food Association’s VP of communications and education. "Specialty food has become part of the daily diet for a majority of Americans."
The findings are based on an online survey conducted by Mintel International in August 2013 of 1,486 adults age 18 and older who purchase specialty foods.
Some 43% of specialty food consumers use their mobile phones to buy food, and nearly half buy foods with locally-grown ingredients.
Specialty food consumers tend to be young, affluent, and live in the West or Northeast. Men are almost as likely to make purchases as women, with 74% of men and 75% of women reporting buying specialty foods.
QVC makes executive appointment
West Chester, Pa. — QVC announced the appointment of Matthew Goldberg to the position of senior VP global market development. Goldberg, who will assume his new role in October 2013, will be responsible for driving global growth, reporting to Mike George, president and CEO of QVC.
Goldberg most recently served as CEO of Lonely Planet, where he drove the company’s geographic expansion into China, India, Brazil, Russia and other markets, through partnerships and local operations. He recently facilitated the sale of Lonely Planet to a private investor.
Wolverine brand opens first-ever permanent store
Rugged boot manufacturer Wolverine has opened a permanent store in New York’s Nolita at 254 Elizabeth St. The company decided to give the retail space a try following its successful New York pop-up venture in fall 2012.
"The success of the Wolverine Company Store pop-up shop exceeded our expectations and made it an easy decision to open a permanent location," said Todd Yates, president of the brand. "The store showcases our heritage, and through that story we’ve been able to make strong brand connections with so many people. We are excited to continue that momentum with the permanent location for many years to come."
Designed by BKLYN Dry Goods, the Wolverine Company Store pop-up shop was named one of the Top 10 pop-up shops by Racked NY.
"The recognition the pop-up shop received is a testament to the incredible work of BKLYN Dry Goods and our partnership to create a retail space that resonated with customers," said Christina Vernon, heritage sales manager for Wolverine. "It’s been a pleasure working with Jahn and Kurt of BKLYN Dry Goods on the permanent location and creating a concept that tells Wolverine’s brand story."
BKLYN Dry Goods created the concept and design of the permanent location, keeping familiar pop-up store features such as wooden beams that were part of Wolverine’s original tannery dating back to the late 1800s and a wall of vintage shoe lasts. The store also bears a more than 1,000-pound concrete sign from one of the company’s original factory buildings.
"After the success of the Wolverine Company Store pop-up, we were excited and honored to continue our partnership with Wolverine," said Jahn Hall of BKLYN Dry Goods. "Taking inspiration from many of the elements that made the pop-up project a success, we’re hoping to continue to inspire the look and feel of Wolverine retail and are excited to welcome Wolverine to New York City with a new, permanent home."
In addition to the full men’s and women’s collections of Wolverine 1000 Mile and Wolverine No. 1883 (including the brand’s collaborations with Samantha Pleet and Filson), the store will showcase items from other like-minded heritage brands, including Filson, Tellason denim, Samantha Pleet, Left Field NYC, Imogene + Willie and Tanner Goods, alongside an unique selection of vintage items from BKLYN Dry Goods.
Wolverine plans to host an array of events to celebrate its first permanent stand-alone presence in New York. Click here for more details.